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16 April 2014, Wednesday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

PM threatens business, media and civic groups amid corruption woes

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TURKISH PRIME MINISTER RECEP TAYYIP ERDOĞAN (PHOTO: CIHAN, ATIF ALA)
25 December 2013, Wednesday /TODAYSZAMAN.COM, İSTANBUL
Shaken by a massive corruption scandal sweeping his government, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has publicly lashed out at many diverse groups which he accused of conspiring with foreign elements abroad to take down his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government.

Speaking at an AK Party expanded provincial chairmen meeting after three of his ministers resigned, Erdoğan called the corruption operation an “international plot” supported by collaborators within the country that aims to sow discord in Turkey.

Again invoking the phrase “interest lobby,” which he used during the May-June Gezi Park protests to blame international conspiracy groups for being behind the protests, Erdoğan urged his party members to fight against them all, calling the new era just as important as the War of Independence. He said this conspiracy is not just against the ruling party, but against the nation of 76 million people.

In several veiled references to the Hizmet movement, inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who has been critical of the government for trying to derail the corruption investigation, the prime minister claimed that the operation was orchestrated by “gangs” and a “parallel state.”

He claimed that his government is clean "like the color of milk," in an attempt to deflect accusations leveled against his government by prosecutors.

He asked the nation to offer prayers for his party, adding that “this is not a corruption investigation; it is an open conspiracy.”

Erdoğan also claimed that a role was given to the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) in this plot.

He underlined that there are gangs, organizations and media groups that are spying on and betraying the homeland. He singled out business groups like the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TÜSİAD) for allegedly acting with international conspirators. The visibly agitated Erdoğan vowed to fight all these groups to foil what he called “dirty plans” to topple his government.

In a clear sign of political interference in the judiciary, he said, “If you have evidence of any wrongdoing, just give it to us we will take care of it,” while criticizing prosecutors for not informing the government about the ongoing inquiry.

“This conspiracy targets Halkbank. In nine days, this has cost the bank $1.6 billion due to losses in share value,” he explained, adding that the corruption investigation has cost the economy $20 billion overall.

He slammed both the global and the national media, which he accused of spreading dark propaganda against Turkey. “This is treachery,” he noted. Erdoğan in particular bashed the Turkish media for publishing leaked evidence in the massive corruption case involving four of his ministers, who have all resigned with the exception of one.

He claimed foreign elements intend to harm Turkey because his government has repaid all of its debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), credit rating agencies have increased the economy's rating, foreign exports have broken new records, foreign currency reserves have expanded, mega projects, including the third Bosporus bridge, the third airport and the Marmaray tunnel, were launched in İstanbul, the İstanbul stock exchange has developed, an agreement to build Turkey's nuclear power plant project was signed with Japan and because borrowing costs have dropped.

 
 
COMMENTS
Agree with Jennet. Only foreigners and rich Kemalists want Erdgoan out. May Erdogan be leader for 100 years.
Eric Turk in Usa
I really do not give a damn who robs Peter to pay Paul. Turkey's economy prospers and that is all that matters to us citizens. All this "wrong doing" is yet to be proven and without evidence no wrong exists. You want to witness corruption, then visit Australia and India where the corruption, bribery...
jennet
PM going through the truth path, the firing of the polices may compelled him the severity of plot and depth of conspiracy.
Ameen kaziyarakam
Erdoğan is in no position of threatening anyone. This man should be put in jail. A taste of his own medicine is coming soon. Also, let's not forget all the lawsuits pending against him even before this mess began, that were to proceed just as soon as his political immunity would be over; now those l...
Kubilay
Ha ha ha: “If you have evidence of any wrongdoing, just give it to us we will take care of it”: We will fire the police officers and move the prosecuters and frighten the judges and put the journalists to prison. I love the humor of this PM!
erol
It is the government response to dealing with the corruption that is causing the economy to suffer, removing those charged with investigating and replacing them, changing laws at midnight, etc...this is what will destroy turkey, not an open and transparent corruption investigation. they can blame an...
the PM problem
May I suggest the PM should deal with the problem instead of moving hundreds and firing dozens of police officers? Is this the new way to fight corruption in Turkey? On which cloud is this PM living?
ali
I agree with Christoph, it is too late for PM Erdogan to recover politically. He needs to resign, he no longer commands respect either within Turkey or abroad.
Yitzhak
When is an article about Turkey in CNN News site, there are hundreds of my fellow Turks comments with love and care. Here in the heart of the corruption scam, only few dare to come up boldly. No wonder why-'cause no one wants to be imprison. Just take your time and read RTE threatening woes. RTE doe...
prudy
There is a conspiracy it is obvious by now, but eventhough if there was no corruption no conspiracy would have been ever able to have success. Mr Erdogan should be transparent and fight corruption taking the carpet away from under the feet of his internal and external ennemies. He will be more popul...
Araratian
In a political crisis of this magnitude in the governing party the prime minister eventually has to go. In order for the party to have any chance of retaining power.
babeouf
All he worries about is saving his own political skin. This man has no character whatsoever. He throws his ministers off the train to cover his own rear end. What a disgrace. Resign, Erdogan!!
Yaacov
I find it interesting that all this comes before elections and USA wanted to end Turkey's deals with Iran. I hope there is an investigation on who started all of this. Foreigners could have initiated this. Needs an investigation.
Eric Turk in USA
Erdogan is no longer suitable for the nob of Prime Minister of Turkey. He has lost all self control and his statements are frankly those of an unstable mentally unbalanced person. As the old saying goes, "he has lost the plot". People in power need to take the responsibility to take this man down fo...
biran
It's unbelievable how long it takes that the real picture of Erdogan as an islamo-fascist criminal is being finally seen by the Turkish society. How long does it take till the only logical and valid conclusion is drawn: this thuig has to be removed from power and brought to justice for ruining te re...
kissenfloh
Resign, Tayyip. You're finished, it's over. You were warned by Turkish pundits and journalists that your dictatorial ways would go too far and catch up to you, you did not listen. Instead you listened to your corrupt advisers and ministers. Too bad, too late. Leave, before you are ARRESTED!
Christoph
Lies, all lies, as evident in Byraktar's resignation. Open the books on TOKI and see how bad it really is. Erdogan proves once again that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
kevin
I am not 100% agree withe what he said, but some of the points he made as regards the economy is true. Without saying hostile things to him, let us tell him, we expect you more in addressing corruption issues.
Orhan
Lets see, did I get this right? Three ministers in Erdogans government appear to be seriously corrupt. Erdogan´does not know about this. The Police finds out and informs the justice system. What happened then? Was the Police rewarded? Were the ministers taken off duty? No, the houndreds of Police of...
Awesh
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